Guide: How to Say “Ordinary”

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to express the word “ordinary” in various contexts and situations. Whether you’re seeking a formal or informal way to convey this meaning, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore how to say “ordinary” in different ways!

Formal Expressions for “Ordinary”

When it comes to formal language, it’s essential to utilize proper vocabulary and phrasing. Here are a few ways to say “ordinary” in a formal context:

Vocabulary Choices:

  • Common: This word implies something ordinary, prevalent, or frequently seen. For example, “The ordinary people were able to relate to the politician’s common speeches.”
  • Regular: Use this to emphasize the normalcy or usual occurrence of something. For instance, “The company hosts regular meetings to ensure all employees are informed.”
  • Everyday: It denotes things that are part of our daily routines or considered common. “The chef specializes in transforming everyday ingredients into gourmet dishes.”
  • Conventional: This term describes something that adheres to accepted standards, norms, or practices. For instance, “The wedding ceremony followed a conventional format.”

Phrases and Idioms:

  • Run-of-the-mill: This expression refers to something that is typical or average. For example, “The art exhibition showcased run-of-the-mill paintings without any unique flair.”
  • Plain vanilla: This idiom signifies something that is basic or lacking special features. For instance, “The website design was criticized for being too plain vanilla.”
  • Bread and butter: This phrase indicates the core or essential aspect of something. “The bread and butter of the business involved providing exceptional customer service.”

TIP: In formal situations, using precise vocabulary and idiomatic phrases can help you sound more professional and articulate.

Informal Expressions for “Ordinary”

When communicating in a casual or informal setting, you have more freedom to use colloquial expressions or words. Let’s explore some informal ways to say “ordinary”:

Vocabulary Choices:

  • Standard: This word suggests something that is typical or expected. For example, “His taste in music is pretty standard for a teenager.”
  • Run-of-the-mill: As mentioned earlier, this term is also commonly used in informal contexts. “The party was just another run-of-the-mill social gathering.”
  • Nothing special: This phrase describes something that lacks uniqueness or exceptional qualities. “The movie was entertaining, but nothing special.”
  • Average: Use this word to describe something that falls within the expected range or is considered normal. “His performance in the race was average.”

Phrases and Idioms:

  • Routine: This term implies something that is part of a regular or familiar pattern. For instance, “Our weekend plans are pretty routine.”
  • Nothing to write home about: This idiom implies that something is not remarkable or noteworthy. “The concert was decent but nothing to write home about.”
  • Plain as day: Use this phrase to describe something that is evident or obvious. “The answer to the question was plain as day.”

TIP: In informal settings, using relatable vocabulary and idiomatic expressions can help you connect with others on a more personal level.

Examples in Different Contexts:

Let’s now explore how to use the different expressions for “ordinary” in various sentences to give you a better understanding:

Formal Examples:

In an academic paper:

“The study focused on the impact of common teaching practices on student learning.”

At a business conference:

“The speaker highlighted the importance of regular meetings for efficient project management.”

Informal Examples:

During a casual conversation:

“I’m just looking for some standard jeans to wear casually.”

When expressing an opinion:

“The restaurant has great food, but it’s nothing special.”

Remember, the appropriate use of these expressions based on the formality of the situation is crucial to effective communication. Choose your words wisely to convey your intended meaning accurately!


We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into expressing the word “ordinary” in different ways. Whether you need to communicate formally or informally, the vocabulary choices and phrases shared in this guide should help you express yourself more effectively. Remember to adapt your language based on the context and maintain a warm and friendly tone to further enhance your communication skills. Now go forth and confidently use these alternatives for “ordinary” to enrich your language repertoire!

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